What are the technical characteristics of MySQL

MariaDB and MySQL - The little sister is outdated

In addition to the optimization for different areas of application, the security of the "data at rest", the stored data, plays a central role in the development. Intellectual property, personal data and much more information must be secured against unauthorized access by third parties. MariaDB has therefore introduced the option of encrypting data on the storage level with version 10.1. Entire table spaces, but also just individual tables and a wide variety of log files, can be encrypted. The data is not only protected from access in the files of the storage engine, but also in the binary logs that are important for replication. MariaDB also enables so-called "Rolling Encryption Keys": All keys are only valid for a limited period and are replaced by new ones at regular intervals. Although MySQL has started to address this important issue, some important features are still missing as a native implementation. According to Vyas, the encryption technologies used come from Google and the Darmstadt-based encryption company Eperi: "Many of MariaDB's features are contributions from the community," says the MariaDB manager.

Access control based on the role is also important for use in companies. With Role-based Access Control, MariaDB has implemented a significant simplification in the management of access rights. Although this procedure is not fundamentally new, it has unfortunately seldom been found as a native implementation in database management systems. In essence, it is about the fact that access rights are not only assigned classically on the basis of individual users and user groups, but also on the basis of defined roles that an employee in the company fulfills: For each role, what an employee of this role with the data is defined once and the system is allowed to do. New employees are simply assigned to a corresponding role and thus receive all the rights necessary for their task with just a single process. This procedure not only makes the day-to-day work of the administrators easier, but also helps to avoid errors in the manual assignment of rights.

High availability

Even when it comes to high availability and scalability, which are extremely important in corporate use, MariaDB is now one step ahead. Although MySQL also has a tried and tested clustering solution, it is functionally much more restricted than with MariaDB. MariaDB relies on Galera, a clustering solution from the Finnish provider Codership, for clustering. The corresponding modules are firmly integrated in MariaDB with the current version 10.1, Galera is part of the MariaDB Enterprise Cluster Subscription.

This technology is supplemented by MariaDB MaxScale: MaxScale is essentially a database router that is used for load balancing of Galera clusters, master-slave replications and as a replication relay. MaxScale was voted "Application of the Year 2016" by the MySQL community. MaxScale is invisible to the application, the router represents a normal database instance from the application's point of view. In contrast to the database cluster, MaxScale forms a higher-level layer that controls the communication between the application and the databases. The special charm of this solution: Changes to the database clusters do not affect the application layer, so they do not result in any adjustments on the application side. The database can also scale independently of the application layer. Likewise, changes in the application do not necessarily affect the databases in the background. The effort involved in horizontal scaling is significantly reduced.

The concept itself is not new. In contrast to other DB proxies, however, MaxScale processes the requests in exactly the same way as the MariaDB database does, and thus has significant speed advantages. "For us, MaxScale is an integral part of the Enterprise Edition," explains Vyas. "There is no comparable counterpart to this with MySQL. In the new MaxScale release 2.0, which will be available in a few weeks, other important functions for professional use have been added. For example, the coming version has a firewall that can handle the MariaDB's security functions have been expanded to include effective protection against SQL injections and other threats. "